The Big 100!
So, this is a very special episode for me. Now, every episode I consider to be special but this is particularly special because this is the 100th episode of the Total Freedom podcast. When I hear a podcaster are doing their 100th episode, often they are about to enter their 2-year mark because they are publishing weekly. But I’m still kind of a newbie. This is the end of my third month of doing the podcast and doing it every day has opened my eyes to so many things I never thought would be possible. It’s just really kind of strange to have people reach out to you and message you about things that you talked about even just months ago. Things that I said that they took to heart and have impact and they went and did something about it. That part is still strange to me, but I want to talk to you little bit today about my approach and my mindset to doing this.
In the first month, it was really anxiety ridden. There was so much prep, so much to lead work in getting everything ready, getting a handful episodes done in advance and learning how to put all this together was really quite overwhelming. To be honest, once was really quite overwhelming and once the podcast is released, it seems like the pressure was off. The whole thing was “Am I really gonna do this?”, “Am I gonna start and then stop?”, “Is it going to be awful?”, “Is nobody gonna care?”, “Is nobody going to listen?” “Am I going to be able to keep coming up with a content that is to the level of what I want to be?”
But a funny thing happened when I started because I started expecting really nobody to listen and one of my first episodes talks about that. I think it was how you gonna play in an empty room because that’s exactly what I’m expecting. But going back to the podcast about building your network, what happened was pretty amazing. I release the podcast and I did one single post on Facebook announcing it and there were ridiculous amount of comments and subscriptions and likes and downloads and all of a sudden, I noticed the numbers spiked.
So those of you that do podcast, you know this is a sneaky little thing that can slip in if you start looking at the numbers and I admit I started looking at the numbers because immediately it looked good. And I was able to track when the most downloaded days were. I could see it dipping little on the weekends and then coming back up on Monday. After a week or two, it became almost a little drug and about halfway through the month. I noticed that we were about 5,000 unique downloads. That was way more than I expected at an any idea, maybe even over a couple months. I had no idea what to expect but I didn’t expect 5,000 downloads the first two weeks. So I am pretty driven, I am pretty competitive when I need to be. And I was like “Man, wouldn’t it be cool if we hit 10,000 downloads for the first month?”
So I continue to track it almost daily. Actually, more than daily, multiple times a day and we got to 8,000, 9,000 downloads and we’re a couple days away and almost to the minute of when we publish the podcast.
I was in a flight to Orlando for podcast movement and we hit 10,000 downloads and I continued to check almost obsessively over the next couple weeks because it’s pretty enthralling to come back and see 12,000 and 13,000 and people in different countries downloading, and people in different states, all the states been downloading. Then you start tracking which cities have the most downloads in it and now you’re at 16,000 downloads and then 18,000 downloads. And then again being competitive, I am like if we can hit 10,000 downloads two months in a row, that’s pretty huge. Then again almost like clockwork, right before our second month, we jumped over 20,000 unique downloads.
I logged out Libsyn as we host our podcast and I said to myself “this isn’t good what you’re doing right now” because I knew that I was getting wrapped up in the numbers and the point of doing this podcast was not about the numbers. The point and the purpose behind this were way different than how many downloads can I get and how much I am going to follow it obsessively as I grow it. And that day. It scared me a little because I noticed how often I went back to check. I would check it and you’d watched the downloads go up like in the moment and it’s silly and it’s ridiculous and it is vain and I understand why I did it in the beginning but I’m two months in now and I said to myself, STOP. Stop checking, at least for now, just stop because what I didn’t want to happen was for the download numbers to affect anything I do with the content of the podcast. Because if you really start diving down that road, it would be very easy to say “While this type of thing is where I got the most downloads so I am going to do more of that.”
I know that some people in business right now that is going to say that that exactly what you should do but I don’t think I should. To me, this is my art. This is my creative control and I don’t want this to be based on anything around the numbers. I want this to be why I started and why it started taking off to begin with which was essentially record and publish what’s to your heart and what you want to talk about. And there’s something that we will publish that some people going to be like “I don’t relate to that at all” and there’s some that really hit home. But it’s not going to be a formula and it’s not going to be for the numbers.
So that day on September 12th, on my two month anniversary, I stopped looking at the numbers. But the problem is when you log into Libsyn, it shows you a graph of the downloads as soon as you login. You don’t even need to go status to check it. It is just right in front of you and I’m sure that some tech person could tell me how to get that down and to eliminate that from the screen. But the next best thing which was just a little bit less technologically savvy and what I did with every time I log into Libsyn, I hold my hand over the right-hand side of the screen so I can’t see the chart. So, every single day I login, every time I log in to upload content or new podcast or do the work in there, I make sure that my hand is up on the right-hand side blocking the chart because I don’t want to know. And the reason for this particular podcast, It’s not to toot my own horn. It’s not to talk about the amount of downloads, it is not even to celebrate hitting the milestone of 100 podcasts, the point is this is just a check point in the journey.
When I decided to do the podcast, I wanted to a Seth Godin approach and his approach is this, Seth has written a blog for years and he writes everyday and he publishes every day. He says he never had a blog post go viral and he said what led to his success and the impact has been the fact that he has published every day for 10,000 straight days. And I’m sure if you asked him, he’s doing the best work that he could possibly do for his readers. So that was my goal. It wasn’t 10,000 because I couldn’t really grasp that. But when I started, I could grasp a thousand because a thousand straight episodes would mean that I did this consistently, day after day published at 4 o’clock in the morning every day for almost 3 years and that to me would be a huge success because I really put my effort into this, which I really am. I’m doing my best to bring the best possible work to you and I do that for three years, I have a chance of making a dent.
So this episode again isn’t a celebration, it’s a checkpoint I personally completed 1/10 of the first goal that I set out for this podcast. And like I said in the very beginning, it doesn’t matter if it is only a couple people listening because the point is to deliver content and lessons and advice to whoever those people are whether it is 3 unique downloads or over 30,000 which we could be at right now. The point is to make an impact in the work that we do. And I’m recording this, I’m saying it’s only because if you’re listening, obviously, you’ve tuned in and I just want to say thank you because I can’t tell you how impactful it is to get a message out of nowhere from somebody who just listened to one of my podcasts or multiple episodes and they tell me that it mattered to them.
I sit back in awe, sometimes I’ll be online and a message will pop-up whether it is through email or Facebook messenger and somebody out of the blue and says “I just listened to episode called It’s All Bonus or I listen about the night Dylan was born or the one about when you audited the classroom. I just want to thank you for doing that because it really meant something to me and to read that or to hear that is powerful. I just want to say whether it’s this or for somebody else you listen to, I can’t tell you how important it is, how special it feels when you get something like that and I try to do the same to the people that I listen to someone because I want to let them know that the work that they’re doing matters. And all I really want is for this to matter. So again, I want to say thank you for those of you who listen to one episode or 100. I am just so grateful and I wanted to say I feel like we’re just getting started.
So thank you. I appreciate you. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.